The Bones Howe Sessions (Released 2002)


“And all too soon it was so easy to tell that I was winning in a game…”

March 26, 2002 marked Diana Ross’s 58th birthday, but it was her legions of fans that received an amazing birthday gift.  Motown finally re-released her 1970 debut album, Diana Ross, which had been out-of-print for some time; better yet, the CD came loaded with eight bonus tracks, including live performances, alternate vocals takes, and — best of all — a batch of tracks from the vaults.  Those tracks were produced by Bones Howe, and had apparently been recorded as possibilities for Miss Ross’s debut album as a solo artist.  Her former manager Shelly Burger is quoted in the liner notes of that re-release:  “I had known Bones for a while and he was very hot at the time, particularly with the Fifth Dimension.  The thought was we should go outside the company to do…

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Diana Ross (1970)


“What a feeling it is to know, you’re in my corner and you won’t let me go…”

It is so common these days for a group member to break out and release a solo album (think Michael Jackson…Bobby Brown…Beyonce…Justin Timberlake…Fergie…etc.) that it’s hard to imagine what a unique occurrence it was back in 1970, when Diana Ross finally left The Supremes and struck out on her own.  In hindsight – with the knowledge of her subsequent six solo #1 hits, Oscar-nominated acting career, and critically-praised live performances – it seems like a no-brainer that Diana Ross would be a success.  But back in 1970, as the lead singer of the most successful female trio and Motown group ever stepped onto the stage alone, it apparently wasn’t necessarily so.  Diana herself has said that after nearly a decade of building a brand – The Supremes – she had no idea how…

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In Search of Black Assassins


In 1953, the same year the CIA/MK ULTRA program was formed, Dick (Richard Claxton) Gregory left college to join or was drafted into the U.S. Army, where his commanding officer (Ft. Hood, Texas, Ft Lee, Virginia or Ft. Smith)[1] designated and assigned him as a black “comedian” to host and perform comedy routines in military shows.[2] That’s interesting that the U.S. Military will make you a “comedian”, too.


In 1953, Hugh Hefner setup Playboy, which was eventually revealed to be banked by the CIA.[3]  Sometime before 1961, Dick Gregory formed some type of special personal relationship with Hefner (Mythological PUCK). In 1961, Hefner put Gregory on the payroll of his Chicago Playboy Club that opened the door to his HollyWeird career. It is more accurate to say that the “Gates of Hell” had opened upon…

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The Wiz (Original Soundtrack) (1978)


“There’s nothing here but the fear of will I try?  And can I stare it in the eye?”

As of 1978, Diana Ross’s film career had been brief but hugely successful, and had led her to new heights as a recording artist, as well.  Her first film, Lady Sings The Blues, netted her an Oscar nomination as Best Actress and had produced a #1 soundtrack album, and her second motion picture, Mahogany, was popular with audiences and featured an Oscar-nominated, #1 hit love theme.  Depite being her biggest budget and highest profile movie project to date, 1978’s The Wiz failed to duplicate her earlier successes on both the silver screen and on radio; critics just couldn’t accept Diana Ross as the “Dorothy” character in this urban take on The Wizard Of Oz, and the movie ended up losing money.  The soundtrack, meanwhile, was only a minor success; though it…

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An Evening With Diana Ross (1977)


An Evening With Diana Ross

“All I ever wanted was the music, and the chance to sing for you…”

If you asked several people on the street to name Diana Ross’s greatest achievement, you’d probably get a variety of answers.  Some would surely say Lady Sings The Blues; others would name songs like “I’m Coming Out” or “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”  A lot would probably say her time with the Supremes, or name one of the 12 #1 hits the group had with Diana singing lead.  But chances are almost nobody would call out her one-woman show, An Evening With Diana Ross, which she toured with and won a special Tony Award for following its run at Broadway’s Palace Theatre.

This is a shame, because An Evening With Diana Ross really displays the artist at the very zenith of her accomplishments.  The stage show – along with this double-LP recorded in Los Angeles and…

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It’s My House: Diana Ross in West Palm Beach (6/24/17)


“I’m gonna sweat my eyelashes off!”

“It’s My House,” purred Diana Ross to a roaring crowd in West Palm Beach Saturday night (June 24), and truer words have never been sung.  During a dazzling tour stop at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, ably supported by her singer-songwriter daughter Rhonda Ross, the legendary entertainer commanded the audience from her very first number (“I’m Coming Out,” of course), taking fans on an energetic ride through several decades of hits.

The evening began with a dynamic set by Rhonda Ross, an accomplished performer in her own right whose career includes an Emmy-nominated performance on the daytime soap “Another World.”  Ross boasts a confident stage presence and crisp, melodic voice that’s both reminiscent of neo-soul singers including Erykah Badu and Amel Larrieux and evocative of jazz legends like Dinah Washington.  Rhonda Ross promised the crowd a bit of her “flavor”…

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Ross (1978)


“Wouldn’t it be fine just to believe, wouldn’t it be wonderful…if life were like a song…”

This is arguably the strangest entry into the Diana Ross Motown discography; it’s certainly a confusing album that has inspired much debate amongst fans and critics.  At heart of that debate is one single question:  “What is Ross?”  Is this a new studio album?  Is it a compilation?  Was this a calculated attempt at getting sales and hits…or was it simply a time-filler between Baby It’s Me and the release of The Wiz movie and soundtrack?

The issue here is the fact that the lineup includes new songs on Side A, but Side B is a collection of previously released, remixed songs and tracks from the vaults that had been recorded for other projects.  “Reach Out, I’ll Be There,” for example, is included here — although it had been featured on Surrender in 1971, released as a…

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